Congressman Tim Ryan Statement in Response to GOP Anti-Transgender Servicemember Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement regarding the Hartzler amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would deny necessary healthcare coverage to transgender servicemembers, effectively banning these brave men and women from serving our country.

“This amendment, which would ban federal funds from being used to provide necessary healthcare for transgender servicemembers, is an act of cruel targeting that is beneath the dignity of the United States Congress, and in stark contrast to the respect that transgender servicemembers who have stood up to protect our nation deserve. The arguments being made to discriminate against transgender servicemembers are the exact same as those faced by women, African-Americans, and any other minority groups before they were able to serve in our military. This must stop. Time and time again we have proven that our nation is defended by Americans whose strength of character is significantly more important than any race, religion, gender or creed,” said Congressman Ryan. “If an American offers to make a sacrifice for the United States, a sacrifice that could unfortunately include their own life, they have more than earned their healthcare coverage. As a member of the Defense and Military Construction and Veteran Affairs Subcommittees of Appropriations, I will never stop fighting to make sure all of our servicemembers receive the support and benefits they deserve.”